I am not stupid; I expected the stares. I mean, you don't wander into Meijer (or anywhere for that matter) with 4 children under the age of 6 and expect people not to stare. No, the stares didn't surprise me.
I was kinda surprised all the children fit in one cart though. Guess I shouldn't have been; it was one of those super-long carts with balcony seating and room for a pony. Plus, the Supers are pocket sized. No, the cart wasn't too surprising either. But there were a few things that were.
I was surprised:
1.) That people would look at my children like they were rotting piles of offal, rather than adorable and relatively well-behaved children hanging out of a shopping cart. I mean, check it:
I mean, I am pretty biased, but these are beauties.
They were even completely clothed and shoed for this outing.
2.) That a woman in a motorized scooter, going about 55 MPH down the cereal aisle, would try to run over Super Preschooler and then yell at me to "watch your children!"
3.) By the two (TWO!) mumblers who thought I should "find some birth control."
4.) By the woman who straddled the Hair Care aisle and wouldn't move, so I had to abandon my children at the end of the row and squeeze by her to get some shampoo. Which resulted in:
5.) The grandmother who decided I had abandoned my children and scolded me, upon my return to them, to "never let them out of my sight. Someone will snatch them in a second." I just smiled and nodded, instead of pointing out that my eyesight was probably a little better than hers, and thus they had been in my sight the whole time. Plus, why does she know so much about kidnapping? Did I disturb her while she was engaging in one? No, wasn't worth it.
6.) By the man who announced to the whole store, at the top of his lungs, that I had "lost one!" Buddy, if I can see her over there lurking by the horse while I am paying for my groceries about 10 feet away, then I haven't "lost" her. Let's cool it and not call out the dogs just yet.
7.) And by the general abundance of annoyed and irritated looks thrown in my direction. They are slightly noisy, fine. Sometime they fly off the cart and jump around. But overall, they were actually really well-behaved. Super Baby slept the whole time. Super Toddler only got excited near the horse. Super Preschooler was excited by the presence of Lucky Charms, hence the near-hit-and-run. And Super Kindergartener only asked for 13 different things, which is pretty good, for him. Does the mere presence of children annoy some people? Must be.
However, these weren't the only things to surprise me at Meijer today. I was also surprised:
1.) By how strong I am. Seriously, I basically haul 4 different level weights around all day. Sometimes I move them in and out of a moving shopping cart, just to keep things interesting.
2.) That the frat boy in the yogurt section let us go around the corner first and didn't seem irritated at all. His passing comment that "you must be ripped, that thing is as big as a barge!" was actually fairly flattering.
3.) That 3 different people, including a cashier, tried to give Super Toddler a penny for the horse while she forlornly pet his flank and kissed his nose.
4.) By the grandmother over in the pharmacy who told me that "you are so lucky, they are adorable!"
5.) That my children are so easily bribed. Today's shopping trip only cost me 3 candy Easter eggs and a penny ride on the horse that I didn't actually have to pay for. Cheap dates.
6.) By the man buying Lotto tickets who found and returned Super Kindergartener's hat. Losing his place in line to do so.
7.) By each and every store employee who asked me if I needed any help. Pretty sure there were about 7 of them.
8.) That Super Baby waited until we got home to create his first ever blow-out diaper. It was massive and would have created quite the messy scene. The boy's timing continues to be perfection.
9.) That the friendly t-shirted man in the parking lot hollered at us that "this doesn't look like snow, now does it?" Upon my reply that "I certainly hope not," he replied that "it might be worth it, if the kids enjoy it."
10.) By the gentleman that helped me unload my groceries into my van and then returned my cart for me.
11.) By each and every stare at my crowded cart that ended with a face-splitting smile. Bonus points to the older gentleman who winked at me and told me that my "parade float" made his day.
12.) That the woman who called me a saint was so kind to us that Super Toddler decided to hug her upon our departure from the store.
All in all, lots of surprises at Meijer today. Some more pleasant than others. Let's hope for that tomorrow because I forgot to get about half of my list........
Basically, life is a fairy tale; there are trolls and there are fairy godpeople. All you can ask is that you run into more fairy godpeople. Today, we were pretty weighted in the fairy godpeople direction; way more win than Waterloo.
If Napoleon had had this one at Waterloo, things might have ended differently....